The robin, not the turkey, is the real Christmas bird; you'll find him on cards, cakes and Christmas trees. But is Robin Redbreast having us on? Is he really the friendly and gentle little fellow he seems? Does he deserve his special Christmas place? Dr. Richard Collins, scientific adviser to Mooney Goes Wild, investigates! To read more about this special documentary, and to listen to the programme, click here.
On Mooney today, with Brenda Donohue...
We hear about the healing power of plants that grow in the wild, we look ahead to the World Cup in Brazil and find out if El Niño might be a factor, Katriona McFadden meets a man who counts raindrops, and we speak to one young Nathan Carter fan about the very special gig he'll be playing at her house this evening...
If you click the box above, you'll be able to hear the official song of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, We Are One (Ole Ola), which was written and co-produced by Pitbull and features Jennifer Lopez and Brazilian star Claudia Leitte.
It’s funny, but up to now you would hardly know that there is a World Cup just around the corner. Is it because Ireland isn't playing? That might all change now that the Premier League is over.
The kinds of stories we have been reading about the World Cup are really not to do with football at all - we have been hearing about construction delays, and about whether airports and stadiums will be built on time, and stories of over-spending and corruption, and stories of the safety of visiting tourists...
But there has been precious little of the usual hype in the build up to the World Cup - until yesterday, when we read that meteorologists at the University of Reading have been looking at weather patterns to see if they might impact on England's players.
To find out more, we are joined by Dr Peter Inness, meteorologist at the Department of Meteorology in the University of Reading, and by John Brennan, Sports News Editor with the Sunday World, about his experiences of stifling heat at World Cup football matches...
Every Friday on Mooney Goes Wild we talk about the wonders of nature and the natural world. And nature can be a big help when it comes to our health. Go to any health food shop and you will see natural remedies for all sorts of ailments from headaches to coughs. And many modern medicines are derived from plants. Did you know that aspirin, for example, comes from willow bark?!
TG4 has been running a fascinating series over the last number of weeks, entitled Garraí Glas or 'green gardens/ fields' as Bearla. There are three episodes left. It's on every Tuesday at 8.00pm (so it's on tonight), and it's repeated every Sunday 9.00pm.
And if you’ve been watching you’ll have learned that bogbean helps with the winter blues, coffee can be made with dandelion roots, nettle roots will cleanse the blood and carrageen can be used as a face-mask.
It's fascinating viewing, and the presenter of Garraí Glas, is Síle Nic Chonaonaigh, joins us from our Galway studio this afternoon to tell us more about it... To find out more about the series, and about some of the information contained in the programmes so far, visit www.tg4.ie/en/programmes/garrai-glas/home. And if you have any natural remedies or herblore that you’d like to share with us please text them into 51551 whilst the show is on air, tweet @MooneyShow, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org!
Thankfully there haven’t been many raindrops falling on our heads in recent days but that doesn’t stop us talking about the weather! Hasn’t it been nice? Will the warm weather stay? Will the summer be good? And we look to Met Eireann and its forecasters for guidance.
But did you know that they rely, in part, on a team of volunteers throughout the country?!
A team of 'Weather Observers' record weather measurements and send them to Met Éireann in Glasnevin to help them with their job. Mooney reporter Katriona McFadden went to meet one of them, Martin Sweeney, at his home in Straide in Co. Mayo...
Cast your mind back to January 30th when the Garth Brooks tickets went on sale, and all the Garth fever and mania that ensued. Brenda was up in Dungannon at 7am, outside Stewarts music shop with fans, and we broadcast the show from Derry.
With the day that was in it, we were discussing the popularity of country music and who should call the show but Ireland's hottest county music star Nathan Carter and he offered to do a House Party for a Mooney listener.
Needless to say we were inundated with people wanting Nathan and his band to put on a show in their front room! Well we have a winner, and tonight’s the night of the Mooney House Party with Nathan Carter!
Ballymahon, Co Longford is the place to be and thanks to her e-mail to us, 11-year-old Brona Cox is going to have her wish come true when she gets to meet Nathan! Brenda chats to Brona ahead of the House Party tonight!
National Dawn Chorus Day will take part on Sunday, May 18th 2014. If you are part of a group who will be taking part in a Dawn Chorus event in your local area, and want to register your event with us, please send full details - name, contact number, what will be happening and where, to email@example.com, with the subject line 'Dawn Chorus 2014'. And who knows, we may contact you during our Dawn Chorus broadcast!
Where will you be on National Dawn Chorus Day?
For more information on the various events that BirdWatch Ireland will be hosting as part of Dawn Chorus Day, click here.
Return Of The Genealogy Roadshow!
The Genealogy Roadshow is back for a brand new series! RTÉ’s The Genealogy Roadshow is now an international hit series. PBS in America has already broadcast a US version of the show shot in Detroit, San Francisco, Nashville and Austin, Texas. Season 2 of the US show is on the way. The original Irish programme is returning to screens on May 11th with a brand new series full of amazing stories. Once again the people of Ireland are the stars of the show. The series is be presented again by Derek Mooney. It began last night on RTÉ One (click here to watch it back on the RTÉ Player), and the second episode of the three-part series will air next Sunday at 7pm on RTÉ One.
The Roadshow's crack historical and genealogical team help people trace their family’s roots and discover surprising stories from the past. People from all four provinces got to know the truth about tragic events, infamous ancestors and famous cousins.
Thousands of people contacted the show with questions. Some wanted to know if they were related to someone famous. Others wanted to solve mysteries going back generations. Others had heart-breaking adoption stories and tales of families ravaged by war.
The Genealogy team set out to help these people fill in the blanks. The mission was to answer the questions, solve the riddles and uncover the truth. Some people get the news they want but not every tale has a happy ending. In this series, there are tears of pride and joy, as well as fantastic surprises.
The Genealogy Roadshow also sheds light on the people history has forgotten. The team look at local and national events and ask who didn’t get the credit they deserve? They also take a look at people and events you think you know, but tell the stories you haven’t heard before.
This year the show has added technology to the bag of tricks. Historians and witnesses from around the world are able to beam in directly to the roadshow to give expert testimony and corroborate evidence.
Some of the stories involve Irish people in far flung places:
Irish immigrants starting a new life in Argentina were part of an international crisis as thousands were scammed out of their life savings and left stranded in a strange land;
An innocent Irish girl was gunned down in a Canadian frontier town, caught up in a local blood feud;
A Wexford man was spared a terrible fate at Custer’s Last Stand, only to be forgotten by history, until now;
A Longford woman went to America and became a notorious criminal in the era of Al Capone.
Some of the stories are closer to home:
After years of listening to his father’s stories, a Dundalk man finds out once and for all if he is related to St. Oliver Plunkett;
A Cork man discovers that his relatives were saved from the gallows by none other than Daniel O’Connell in a famous trial;
The tale of an Orangeman’s wife who kept her Catholic identity a secret, even from her family, for her whole life;
And there’s even some myth-busting in this series as the team delve into the mystery of 'The Lost Village of Audleystown' to see if there’s any evidence to back up the story of a village full of families who were forcibly migrated to the USA by a wicked land owner who levelled their homes.
This original Irish programme is back on your screens from this Sunday, May 11th at 7pm, on RTÉ One.
Hedgerows: It is an offence to 'cut, grub, burn or otherwise destroy hedgerows on uncultivated land during the nesting season from 1 March to 31 August, subject to certain exceptions'. For more information, click here.
UPDATE: February 29th 2016 - Press Release From BirdWatch Ireland:
Putting the record straight: Dates for burning and hedge-cutting have NOT changed
BirdWatch Ireland, Ireland’s largest conservation charity, is very concerned about misinformation that is currently circulating regarding the dates within which the burning of vegetation and cutting of hedges is permitted. It would like to remind landowners that all burning and cutting must cease on 29th February this year and that burning and cutting remains prohibited from 1st March to 31st August.
Despite attempts by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys T.D., to change the laws regulating these dates by introducing the Heritage Bill 2016 earlier this year, it is important to note that the proposed date changes were ultimately NOT made. This is because the bill failed to pass through both houses of the Oireachtas before the recent dissolution of the Dáil in advance of the general election.
The laws in place governing the dates for hedge-cutting and upland burning therefore remain unchanged. The period within which cutting and burning is prohibited are set down in Section 40 of the Wildlife Act 1976 (as amended in 2000), which states that:
(a) It shall be an offence for a person to cut, grub, burn or otherwise destroy, during the period beginning on the 1st day of March and ending on the 31st day of August in any year, any vegetation growing on any land not then cultivated.
(b) It shall be an offence for a person to cut, grub, burn or otherwise destroy any vegetation growing in any hedge or ditch during the period mentioned in paragraph (a) of this subsection (above).
The existing law provides exemptions for road safety and other circumstances and should be read carefully to ensure compliance.
Section 40 of the Wildlife Act exists to protect nesting birds. Many of our upland bird species are in decline and are in danger of extinction in Ireland; amongst them is the Curlew, which has declined by 80%. Many birds which nest in hedgerows into August are also in serious decline, including the endangered Yellowhammer. The changes to the cutting and burning dates which had been proposed in the now-defunct Heritage Bill 2016 would have caused serious impacts to these birds. A petition launched by BirdWatch Ireland in conjunction with several other national conservation organisations to stop these changes attracted more than 16,200 signatures and rising.
BirdWatch Ireland would also like to advise members of the public that if they see hedges being cut or fires in the uplands on or after 1st March, such activity could be illegal. In such cases, we would encourage people to contact the National Parks and Wildlife Service (www.npws.ie) to report such activity.
BirdWatch Ireland warmly welcomes the demise of the Heritage Bill 2016 and sincerely hopes that any future administration will consider the importance of Ireland’s natural heritage and will not attempt to reintroduce such a flawed and damaging piece of legislation.
To contact your local wildlife ranger, click here for contact details. To read the Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000, click here.
Please DO NOT send any live, dead or skeletal remains of any creature whatsoever to Mooney Goes Wild.
If you find an injured animal or bird, please contact the National Parks & Wildlife Service on 1890 20 20 21, or BirdWatch Ireland, on 01 281-9878, or visit www.irishwildlifematters.ie